This Saturday marks the fiftieth anniversary of the ALM 980 ditching. Each day leading up to the anniversary I intend to write a post related to this remarkable story. Today’s post concerns a couple who were passengers aboard ALM 980.
I spent five years working on the book 35 Miles From Shore. I traveled all over the United States and the Caribbean interviewing passengers, crew members, rescuers, and more. I wasn’t able to interview everyone. In Harold and Mildred’s case, I never got to write about them. In the case of Harold Carey, I only had his first initial, last name, and the fact that he was one of the twenty-two people listed as missing.
Today I learned a little more about their story from David Seidel and his mom Rona Seidel. Here is what they had to say.
Aunt Mildred died in the late 80s. This picture of her is from my Bar Mitzvah in Dec. 1983, which was the only other time she flew after the plane crash.
My uncle, Harold Carey, went down with the plane, and his body was never retrieved. My aunt, Mildred Carey, survived by clinging to a life raft (I had heard for over 2 hours). They were on a pleasure trip to St. Martin. It was a terrible tragedy in our family, hard to fathom. Harold was a dear, caring gentleman, always helping the rest of the family in any way needed.
Thank you for this book.
Before today Harold and Mildred were two faceless names in a book.